Monday, March 9, 2015

Social Media & Your Small Business Take in Slow and Make a Plan

Social media is one of those often confusing terms for small business owners.  The thing is—it doesn’t have to be.  Just about every business can reap the rewards of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and even the world of blogging.  The problem that faces most established entrepreneurs is that they don’t know where to begin.

Where to begin is actually the easy part though, because a plan needs to be formed.  A plan makes all the difference in the world.  Ask questions like: “Why do I need to be on social media?”, “What kind of information do I want to share?”, and “What platform is right for me?”  Talk to your customers, find out what they would like to know, and use that gap in knowledge to your advantage.

Step two is a bit more tricky, because it involves setting up the accounts and pages.  Granted, most of the user accounts and pages are pretty easy to develop, but business owners that live in fear of the internet might want to check out what others have done with their pages.

Once a plan is in place and the pages are moving forward, information can be shared.  However, the plan should be evaluated periodically to make sure that everything is on track.  Measuring success involves simply listening to the chatter online and in real life.  Check for replies, comments, and shares, but don’t obsess about them.  A good social marketing effort takes time to develop.

Remember.  Don’t live in fear of social networking.  Use it as a tool to make your business stronger, but also realize that these tools should be used in conjunction with other marketing efforts.  Social media can amplify the bad along with the good, which means delivering a positive experience should still be the focus of any endeavor.

There are hundreds of millions of Instagram users, over abillion Facebook users, and the facts go on and on, which means your business can not afford to ignore the game any longer.  Start by dipping a toe in the water, and slowly start to get comfortable.  Once you’ve got the hang of it, you will realize it was not really that complicated all along.  Once more ideas start to flood in, you will be a social media guru in no time.  Of course, you have to take a step toward embracing the change first.

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